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Krisi Zea's Documentary About Artist Elizabeth Murray Screening In The Hamptons

Anastasia Lennon

The Parrish Art Museum's Friday Nights programming will continue on January 19 with Everybody Knows...Elizabeth Murray. The documentary, which premiered in 2016 at the Tribeca Film Festival, is directed by Kristi Zea and narrated by Meryl Streep. The film will be introduced by Sophie Ellsburg - an actress, director, and Murray's daughter. In its short sixty minutes, Everybody Knows...Elizabeth Murray explores the relationship between Murray's family life and career, and examines her place in contemporary art history.

"I am very excited to screen this timely portrait of a hugely influential artist who inspired other women artists to follow their dreams and ambitions," said Corinne Erni, Curator of Special Projects.

Elizabeth Murray was born in Chicago, Illinois. She earned a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Mills College in California. Her work is included in major collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, where she was honored with a retrospective in 2006 (just before her death), the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim Museum, Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

"She was an iconoclast in the art world and continued to paint when painting was considered 'dead,'" states her bio for the film's official website. "Murray broke art historical tradition with her distinctively shaped canvases and brought content into abstraction with her unique depiction of domestic life."

She was a modern, abstract painter influenced by Cezanne, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, and earned many honors before her death in 2007. She was elected as member to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and named a MacArthur Fellow.

Matching the documentary's subject with her accomplishments in film work is Krisi Zea, the film's director.

"The movie shows the great variety of Murray's always vivid, colorful work, and culminates with a triumph not just for Murray but also, as the film takes pains to point out, for women in American art: a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art," Glenn Kenny's New York Times noted. "Murray comes across as personable, friendly, extremely thoughtful and wholly admirable. The movie, perhaps without intending to, demonstrates that one needn't be a prickly person to be a wonderful artist. Meryl Streep, reading from Murray's journals, does well communicating her emotional and intellectual acuity. While remaining upbeat about the artist's legacy, Everybody Knows is underscored by a sense of just how much the art world lost when Murray left it."

Zea has worked on major motion pictures as a production designer and producer. Her credits include Goodfellas, The Departed, Philadelphia, Silence of the Lambs, and Revolutionary Road - the last of which earned her Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for her production design work.

As Zea stated in her Director's Statement for the film, "this documentary will also be an effort to raise awareness about the 'basic sexism' of the art world. Through Elizabeth's story we hope to shine a light on all female contemporary artists who have not received as much attention as their male counterparts."

Viewers will hear excerpts from Murray's journals, watch scenes of her at home with her children, and see interviews with major figures in the art world that will lend a historical context for studying Murray's life and work.

Tickets for the film screening are $5 for members and students, and $20 for others. The film is rated NR and will be shown at 6 p.m. on Friday, January 19.

Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, please visit parrishart.org.

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